New State Law Mandates One-Year Suspension For Students Who Assault Teachers

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The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

As violent incidents by students against teachers in Tennessee schools increase, a new law also increases mandatory consequences to hold those students accountable for their behavior.

Governor Bill Lee signed a new law that requires a mandatory suspension of one year for students who assault a teacher at school. School districts may allow students to be placed in an alternative learning environment or take online classes, but those students are not allowed to take any classes on campus, participate in any extracurricular activities, or participate in the graduation ceremony.

The law does include an exception for special education students. Additionally, the director of schools in each district does maintain some authority to allow further exceptions.

This consequence is much harsher than the three or five-day suspensions given by many school districts for similar offenses in previous years. Metro Nashville Public Schools previously only enforced a suspension of up to five days for offenses such as assault, fighting, and sexual harassment. 

The legislation, which went into effect last month, was sponsored by State Representative Kevin Raper (R-Cleveland-District 24) and Senator Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro-District 13). As former teachers, they expressed concern regarding the increasing violence against teachers across the state.

“I have heard stories for many, many years about employees of school systems being assaulted, especially teachers and administrators,” Raper told The Tennessean. “And because of that, they are not wanting to return to school. They’re scared. They’re intimidated. They fear for their life and their family’s lives.”

HB2472/SB2682 passed though the Tennessee legislature during the last session along party lines with only Democrats voting against it in the House and Senate. The bill was signed by Governor Lee on May 3rd and was subsequently assigned Public Chapter Number 915.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, schools reported 1,918 assaults on teachers and staff in the 2022-2023 school year. This is an increase of nearly 700 incidents over the previous year.

MNPS spokesperson Sean Braisted told The Tennessean that there were 325 incidents of violence against teachers and staff members during the 2023-2024 school year, with most of those taking place in elementary schools within the district.

This new law comes on the heels of legislation from the previous year that requires school districts to continue to provide full salary and benefits to teachers who miss work due to an injury that was received as a result of an assault at school.

One thought on “New State Law Mandates One-Year Suspension For Students Who Assault Teachers

  • June 24, 2024 at 10:29 pm
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    Back in my day ( ha ha ) you would be EXPELLED for such an act, you know, when there was still accountability for ones actions??? See what happens when there is “leftist tolerance?” Everything crumbles.

    Reply

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